Archive for July, 2014

Stay Strong Brad

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Me and Brad Smeele

I met Brad at the Tige Pro Am during summer ’07. Smashing good looks aside, I noticed his sense of humor and laid back demeanor. We kept in touch over the years. While living in China, Brad Skype’d me from New Zealand and I felt a little less lonely. We crossed paths again during summer ’11 when he visited LA for the X-games. Brad is kind, caring and an incredibly talented wakeboarder. A few weeks ago he suffered a tragic accident and needs our prayers.

While attempting a first-of-its-kind trick, Brad didn’t complete a rotation and landed on the ramp headfirst. He shattered his C4 vertebrae and is currently in a quadriplegic stage. Doctors say Brad has a one to two-percent chance of regaining motor skills to his upper body. He’s fighting pneumonia but making progress.

With the outpouring of support, not only from the wakeboard community but the global community, it’s easy to see Brad is a beautiful being. Please keep Brad and his family in your thoughts and prayers. His road to recovery won’t be easy, but neither are 1080’s off a double-up. Brad’s a champ and I know he will succeed in whatever wake God throws his way.

Click here to follow Brad’s recovery. If you want to offer more than just prayers, all donations go directly to his recovery. Stay strong Brad!

♥ BB

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Lemme Tell You ‘Bout Tatsu

Sunday, July 27th, 2014






I need to tell you about a hidden gem. It has the best ramen in LA with delicious broth and loads of flavor. Lemme tell you ’bout Tatsu.

Ryu, the chef, is Japanese born and moved to the states at the age of 14. He realized the ramen in America is nothing like overseas. Ryu wanted to make a tonkotsu ramen restaurant similar to those in Tokyo, only better. After hours of tasting and endless bowls, Ryu has created recipes to satisfy any palate. It’s safe to say, Tatsu is addicting!

Saturday Tatsu opened their second location on Melrose and La Brea. This new location is beautiful. You can tell they went above and beyond with the details. The origami ceiling is unique and the exterior mural catches your eye. Tatsu’s do-it-yourself iPad system makes customizing your order a cinch. With the new location comes two new flavors: the Cheeky Ramen (chicken broth for all you kosher guests) and the Hippie Ramen (vegan broth). What sets Tatsu apart from all other ramen shops is they make their own noodles. They even have a cool room where you can see the noodles being made.

Last night I tried the Hippie Ramen and oh. my. goodness. It has become my new favorite dish. The sweet onion, soy sauce and ginger broth hits the spot. The Hippie Ramen also comes with spinach, but I chose to add cheese, egg and corn to my dish. I can taste the difference of the homemade noodles. No joke, this is the best ramen I’ve ever tried. My previous go-to’s were the Red Ramen and the Naked Ramen, both delicious and highly recommended.

If you’re looking for the best ramen in Los Angeles, make sure you go to Tatsu. They have two locations, one on Sawtelle and their newest location on Melrose. Best of all, for you night owls, Tatsu is open until 3 AM Thursday through Saturday.

Now who wants to go with me? Last night I dreamt about the Hippie Ramen, and I’m craving it again!

♥ BB

*Congrats Tom, Ryu, Will, Adam and everyone at Tatsu for an incredibly successful opening weekend. I can’t wait to see where Tatsu goes next!

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Bergamot Station

Friday, July 25th, 2014









A couple weeks ago I took myself on a date to the Robert Swain exhibit at Bergamot Station. While I went to see The Form of Color, I spent a couple hours seeing so much more.

Current exhibits included large canvas paintings by Ed Moses and Larry Poons, Jo Ann Callis’ photography exhibit Honey, “Faces of America” photos by dnj Gallery artists and “Driving L.A.” a group exhibition featuring vintage transportation photos.

Slowly walking through the galleries, Nikon in tow, I reminisced back to my Beijing days. It felt so nice to be alone, take photos and interpret the art. I haven’t felt so at peace since my meditation retreat. Much needed.

Bergamot Station, now in its 20th year, opened with eighteen galleries, eight architecture and design firms, a cafe and artist studios. This place is truly a hidden gem of culture and creativity. Unfortunately the City of Santa Monica wants to develop the property into a more commercialized space. Imagine more retail stores, creative offices, a hotel, bars, restaurants and underground parking replacing this unique location. Don’t we already have the Third Street Promenade? Do we need more traffic? Why should the arts and community suffer from overdevelopment? Please click here to sign the petition and save Bergamot Station.

Bergamot Station is open Tuesday through Friday 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday 11 AM to 5:30 PM. For more details, click here. If you’re thinking of making a trip, let me know. I’m always down to enjoy the arts.

Want to see more of my adventures to Bergamot? Follow my Tumblr.

♥ BB

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Robert Swain: The Form of Color

Monday, July 14th, 2014









I first discovered Robert Swain’s art at an event DTLA. I stood there, longer than most, drawn to his work. His use of color almost gave his art a 3D effect. When I heard about his exhibit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

The Form of Color is Swain’s first solo exhibit in California. Those colors you see? They’re individual 12 by 12 inch squares, and measure up to seventy feet in length. Up close, far away, bright light or low light, all impact your visual experience. This exhibition is one you must see. Photos do not do it justice.

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM. Admission is by suggested donation (support your arts!). Click here for more information on The Form of Color. Swain’s exhibit runs until August 23. I might even go back, since the room was being set up for an event when I visited, if anyone is interested…

♥ BB

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$17 Trillion is Unpatriotic

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

On July 3, 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama said leaving a generation $9 trillion in debt is irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic. With our national debt now over $17 trillion, I took to the streets for A Generation Empowered to ask Americans, “Is $17 trillion in debt patriotic or unpatriotic, and why?”

Everyone I spoke with agreed $17 trillion in debt is unpatriotic. Whether it’s China buying our debt, the inability to support our homeless or our veterans, irresponsible spending by politicians or the enormity of our debt, Americans on all sides of the political aisle agreed our national debt is unpatriotic. Even the two people who felt some debt is patriotic, agreed $17 trillion is way too much.

I planned to write a formal blog about A Generation Empowered, but I guess this is it…

To leave a generation $17.5 trillion in debt, and growing, is wrong. Our generation didn’t create this crisis, but it’s up to us to solve it. The politicians today will be gone tomorrow. Soon we will be political leaders. The national debt isn’t a liberal or conservative issue, it’s an American issue. Whether you’re a creative soul, business owner, corporate employee or stay-at-home parent, the national debt impacts us all. It’s time Americans come together and take action.

If you agree that leaving a generation trillions in debt is wrong, check out A Generation Empowered (AGE). Finally, there’s a mouthpiece for Millennials (actually all Americans) in this debt fiasco. Apathy is out, activism is in. They say one person can’t make a difference, but with almost 75 million American Millennials, we have the power to make our voice heard. This is our generation, our future, and we have the power to change it.

Make sure to follow AGE on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube for all the latest in national debt news. We’re still in the developmental stages, but have lots of exciting things in the works. Also, if you’re a creative soul and want to volunteer your talents, message me!

♥ BB

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